Challenges for companies
In Europe, one woman in three has been physically or sexually abused, most often by a partner or ex-partner. This means that every employer has been, is or will be in contact with an employee who has experienced gender-based violence, whether it happens at work or in the private sphere.
However, it is not easy for a company to talk about domestic violence. It is often assumed that this is a private matter and that an employer cannot intervene in this area. Yet female employees spend more than a third of their time at work (sometimes their only place of social interaction outside their domestic environment). This is a time that they spend away from their abuser. During this time they can take steps to get away from the violence.
Beyond the personal and social impacts, violence also has economic consequences. Multiple surveys show the extent to which such violence affects the victim’s ability to work, as well as her colleagues: reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, turnover, resignation without notice, etc.
It is therefore important to communicate widely on the role of the employer and on the place that companies can take in the fight against this violence. Indeed positioning the workplace as a safe place where victims can find support and referrals greatly increases the impact of initiatives.